Phew! Birth Plan, Check!

Today I had my check up/ NST. I was a little nervous because I would be presenting my birth plan, or what I named “My Birth Preference”.

I thought it would be a little too natural for my doctor, but as she was reading, she kept saying, “Mhm, Perfect”. Which made me feel better. I told her that if there was anything she wasn’t comfortable with I would like to discuss it. The only thing she asked for me to change slightly, was the part where I asked to not have an IV. She said it’s if fine for me to self hydrate, but she would like to have an IV put in, but not hooked up. Just in case something happens and I need medication or hydration through it, because it might be harder to get one in place if I were say, to hemorrhage. Which I understand completely, and agree. I would rather have a ‘just in case’ than have to get poked a bunch in an emergency. 

But, besides that, she agreed to everything! I was worried because a lot of what I asked does take up more of her time. But she is awesome and was happy with everything! 

What exactly did I put in my birth plan?

  1. Natural birth, no pain medications and avoiding all unnecessary interventions.
  2. Because I am Hypnobirthing, I ask for a very peaceful, calm environment. Dimmed lights, soft speaking, limited interruptions and as much alone time as I can be allowed.
  3. Self hydration.
  4. I would like to be allowed to move around as I feel comfortable.
  5. I would Like to deliver in a position comfortable for me.
  6. I will be delaying clamping and cutting of the umbilical cord until after it has stopped pulsing.
  7. Immediate skin-to-skin or “Kangaroo Care” is very important to me.
  8. I would like to delay all newborn procedures until after we have had time to bond and nurse.
  9. Baby will be exclusively breastfed and will not have any formula or pacifiers.
  10. Baby will room with me at all times.

Honestly, I could ask for more. But these are the things I found very important or a “must have” for this labor and birth experience. I’m so glad I can feel confident that I will be able to have the birth I want without being opposed. It’s a major weight off of me for sure!

Pregnancy Update: The End Is Near.

36 weeks and 2 days today. 

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Honestly, I’m so ready for this baby to be born already! The excitement mixed with the pure exhaustion of being 9 months pregnant, is really setting in. I’m getting a little stir crazy up in here. Rearranging, organizing, re-rearranging, re-organizing. I just want to hold her and get this ball rolling. Maybe I’m just impatient, but you’d be lying if you said you didn’t feel this at some point in your pregnancy(ies).

Beside the hardly ever sleeping, I’m feeling great. Yes, I’m tired and waddling around is getting old. But I’m really trying to keep humble and positive. 

I FINALLY got HypnoBirthing The Mongan Method from my library. I had been waiting for weeks! And let me tell you what, It’s an AMAZING book. Even if you aren’t Hypnobirthing, it’s fantastic to read during pregnancy. I could write a whole post on the book…(maybe I will later). Anyway, it’s really helping prepare my mind for birth and comfort me while I wait. It’s nice to be in a positive mindset at this point in time.

Tomorrow is my weekly check up and I’m planning on presenting my doctor with my birth plan. I am a little nervous, but it’s very important for me to make known what I’m hoping for and at the same time, let her see that I have made an effort to be knowledgeable about labor and birth and my options, and that I have every intention to be making the decisions. After basically taking the backseat during my first labor and birth experience, there is no way I will allow that this time. I know most of that was because of the nurses at that certain hospital, but having this birth plan will show them I mean business and wont be pushed around. 

I’m feeling very confident at this point and, thanks to Hypnobirthing, not afraid. Fear tends to hijack our pregnancies, labors and birth experiences. I’m so glad I found Hypnobirthing and had my mind opened to how ridiculous it really is. I’m taking back my birth experience and it’s going to be awesome!! 

I’m excited, can’t you tell?

Update, I’m Feeling Great.

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As of today, I am 35 weeks and 1 day. 33 days to go IF I make it to 40 week. Which, I really don’t think I will.

I’m feeling so much better than I had been for the past few weeks. My last appointment went great and I’ve only been feeling better and better. I hardly ever have any itching at all anymore!! My doctor assumed my daily allergy medicine was helping (because Cholestasis doesn’t just go away), But I haven’t been taking my allergy medicine for almost a week now, and the itching is even less! I’m calling MIRACLE on this one, guys. I was so afraid, worried and disappointed when my otherwise care-free pregnancy became something to worry about. My mom was praying against it and I was just praying for a healthy baby. I couldn’t sleep at night because when I did I would just toss and turn with a nervousness in my stomach or dream about being induced to save my baby’s life. And out of nowhere it all just went away. The itching, the worry, the stress, the fear. How amazing is that!?

I have an appointment tomorrow, another NST, which I’m sure will go just fine. But I wanted to do an early update. As of today, I am so EXCITED. I can’t wait for my little girl to arrive and come home so we can all start our lives together. I know there will be a lot of sleepless nights, probably older sibling issues, a struggle to establish a routine, etc. But I just want to dive into it already! 

I really believe she’ll come before 40 weeks. Rayne was born around 38 weeks. I’m hoping for the same with this one. That’s only a few weeks!! I’m trying to hurry and get everything ready, but it never seems good enough for my insatiable urge to nest. All day I want to organize and re-organize. I just have nowhere to re-organize to! I’m trying to figure out different ways to put together a more accessible environment for when baby gets here, which is proving to be difficult seeing as how there is limited space already (I share a room with a 3-year-old). 

And of course I think about labor. What will happen, how will I do, will my self practice of Hypnobirthing help at all or did I do it wrong and will end up losing my shit and beg for an epidural..etc., etc. All I know is, I’m going to try my best and at the end I know I’ll forget about any pain and be on cloud nine. 

My mind is racing 972478627 thoughts a minute, but I’m doing well. Excited. Very excited. And tired. But mostly excited.

Good News Alert!

If you’ve been reading my posts, you’ll know I’ve been struggling with the fear of possibly having pregnancy Cholestasis. I’ve been going in weekly for NSTs (non-stress tests). When my doctor responded to my itchy hands and feet with these NSTs and a blood test, assuming it was Cholestasis, my heart broke. I had been having a perfectly normal pregnancy, everything going well, until that appointment and that stupid annoying itching. Suddenly we had to monitor my baby and possibly discuss induction depending on my bile levels, which would really cut into my hopes for a very natural birth. Not to mention the stress of never knowing if baby was doing okay from one minute to the next. Thank God, so far, baby has passed all the NSTs with flying colors, and my first blood test showed negative for Cholestasis. However, my doctor did say that it usually takes awhile before showing in a blood test.

As time has gone on, the stress has eased a bit. And the itching has just gotten down right confusing. With Cholestasis, the most common symptom is intense itching, usually on the hands and feet. My itching has been really on and off. Luckily, it has been mild-moderate when I do have it, but I can go long periods of time without itching at all. Even having mild itching, it is terrible. For most of last week I would go to bed at night, only to wake up an hour later itching, then be up all night! It was exhausting. When the weekend came on, my itching just stopped. It was like a miracle from God. Seriously, I was like, “THANK YOU,GOD!!” 

So, today I mentioned to my doctor how on and off my itching is and that when I do have it, it’s not nearly as bad as it has been at times. My doctor was glad to hear it, because according to her, in most Cholestasis cases, the itching only gets worse and worse. And doesn’t really become harmful to baby until it is really bad itching. Since mine isn’t bad and sometimes not even there, she’s not concerned about it harming baby, and even thinks it might not even be Cholestasis! HELLO! GREAT NEWS! She even wants to postpone the blood test she wanted to do, because she really don’t think it would show anything. 

PHEW!

So, as of now, we’re keeping an eye on the itching, still doing NSTs every week just to be extra safe, and everything else looks great! I was so relieved to have this conversation with her today. I feel like I can finally relax and my natural hypnobirth is STILL ON! YAY! I definitely feel that my prayers have been answered, and have no fear that anything will rear it’s head to harm baby or myself. And if it does, I’m already 34+ weeks, so there isn’t much more time left in this pregnancy.

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Totally chillaxing with some hot cocoa and a danish. I deserve it after all the stress I’ve been through.

 

 

Oh, AND, when I got home, my package of BumGenius cloth diapers had arrived! Double yay! 

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Seriously, guys. So happy.

Kicking Pilate’s ass, or vice versa.

When I was pregnant, I gained 55lbs. Can anyone say “MISTAKE!”. Last year, around May, I decided to start making a real effort to lose the weight. I had stopped drinking soda and energy drinks months before but I needed to do much more. So I started counting calories and making exorcise a daily must. The only exorcise that has ever really worked for me has been consistently walking. No gym time, no workout videos or doing suicides in the backyard. Just walking. Everyday, for at least 45 minutes. After a few months of counting calories and losing weight, I stopped counting. Not because I thought I was done, but because I knew I was ready to handle it. Today, I don’t count calories, but I do still consistently walk, and I have only 6lbs left to lose. As most people know, the last little bit is the hardest to get off. So today I figured I’d try to throw in some Pilates. I used to do them regularly, but that was about 7 years ago. 

I was confident when starting because it was the same DVD I did so often years ago, I still knew the moves.

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Once I got started I realized how hard it actually is and how weak my muscles are. I did the whole DVD but best believe I broke a sweat. I’m hoping the combination of walking and Pilates will do the trick. I must say, I do feel better after doing it. 

Hopefully I can keep it up and finally get all of the weight of, once and for all!

Who needs a father?

Lately I’ve been faced with something that I have no control over. Something that bothers me very much, yet there’s nothing I can do to change it. Maybe that’s the part that kills me the most, that I can’t do anything about it. Those situations are always the worst. When you see something happening that is wrong or hurting someone, and the only thing you can do is watch. It leaves the bitterest of tastes in your mouth, which seems to crawl down to the pit of your stomach and squirrel around until it drives you crazy with helplessness. 

But helplessness isn’t the only emotion I feel toward the situation. I also feel anger, frustration, and mostly indifferent. Obviously, feeling indifference above all else is quite the stretch considering everything else I feel involving it. Maybe it’s just that I got so tired of the sadness I felt, and gave in to it. Or maybe it’s because I secretly harbor an immense amount of hope despite the circumstance. Either way, I prefer being indifferent. Not only does it free me from additional stress, I feel stronger facing it when I don’t feel such helplessness pulling me down. 

Anyone who knows me, or reads my blog regularly, knows I am a single mom. I had my daughter almost 2 months after my 20th birthday. I’ve been a single mom ever since. She wasn’t born into a traditional family or to parents that were married or even loved each other. But that never bothered me. Because despite that, I knew she would be loved. I never believed in forcing a relationship for a child when the two adults can hardly stand each other. Or are even hardly adults, for that matter. So I was perfectly happy with calling myself a single mother. And still am.

A lot of my friends from school have children of their own now, too. Some even more than one. Some are still with the father, some married, engaged, or with new people. But all across the board, whether the parents get along or not, all the fathers stick by their children and love them dearly. Seeing them whenever possible, and complaining of heartache when they go without seeing them. They post hundreds of photos and brag about their awesome children. And even though most of them are still very young and immature, they seem to be good fathers. Present fathers. 

When I see this, I feel a slight bit of envy for those women who’s “baby daddies” have stepped up to the parent plate. Rayne has not been so lucky. 

Rayne’s father and I had a very rocky relationship. It was a roller coaster ride that I wish I could take back. But if I did that, I wouldn’t have my girl. So, I’m thankful for it for more than one reason. It gave me my life. Well, the light of my life at least. But above all else, it taught me. 

Our relationship started out being based on lies. Lies that I was not aware of, of course. it was one of those things, those young-and-stupid things. I was young, naive. He was mixed up and damaged, on a path to damage others. He turned out to be the opposite of what I believed him to be in the start of things. I was used. Mentally and emotionally abused most of all. On and off for almost 2 years. He drug me through the worst times of my life. Then I got pregnant with Rayne. 

I told him I was pregnant and his exact response was “You better not come after me for child support”. In that moment every feeling I had ever felt toward him, was lost. Every ounce of what I thought was love, turned to loathing. I no longer needed him, nor did I want him. Not around me, and not around my baby. He was an all around bad, nasty, mean spirited person. And that isn’t an exaggeration because of what I feel toward him, he really was not a very good human being. 

I left him out of mostly everything. He didn’t want much to do with any of it. Until the day came for me to learn the gender of my growing child. I asked him to come along, he didn’t want to. He had never been to an appointment or an ultrasound, and he wasn’t planning on going. But I insisted, being the bossy forceful woman I am, trying to make him a father for my baby. The kind of father that goes to stuff like that. Because that’s what my baby deserved. So that morning, I went to his house, walked right in, burst into his bedroom to find him asleep. I woke him up and told him to get ready immediately because we had an appointment at 12:30 and he had better not make me late. 

We walked into the ultrasound room, I laid atop the table. The usually cold gel had been warmed or something. That was nice. The woman doing the ultrasound started showing us all her little parts. Her tiny hands and feet, her forming face, and little lungs. I didn’t pay much mind to the three people (my mother, sister and Rayne’s father) standing to my left watching the screen with me. She asked if I’d like to know the gender. I said yes, of course. “It’s a baby girl”. “Yes! I knew it!”, I exclaimed. I did know it. I had a feeling. We left with pictures in hand. I could tell a difference in him afterward. It was more real to him now.

After Rayne was born he visited us quite a bit in the hospital. He even stayed most of the time. I had high hopes for the future. Then after we left the hospital and dropped him off at home, things became more real for me. I was taking care of a newborn, by myself, in the hottest days and nights of August. I was scared, confused, exhausted, in pain, and somewhat lost feeling. I struggled with feeding her. She wasn’t good at being breastfed. She cried a lot. And didn’t nap nearly as much as I thought she should. Days would go by without a word from her father. I would send tons of pictures to him, only for him to complain about them. So I stopped. His mother and sister would come and visit her. This irritated me for some reason. I felt extremely territorial whenever they were around. But I’d hoped he would tag along. 

When Rayne turned 5 months old I started letting his mother take her to her house for a couple hours once every week or two. It was much harder than I had anticipated. The first time I watched her drive away, I walked back into the house to see my sisters sitting in my room. They looked at me and said, “Are you going to cry?”. “No!” I replied with a kick of attitude. About .5 seconds after saying it my hands jumped to my face and I started sobbing. 

Over time it has gotten easier. After we moved closer to her father and his mother, and she’s gotten older, She’s allowed to stay over night, usually once a week. I still miss her like crazy but I allow it because I know it’s the only chance she has to see her father.

Although we live about 10-15 minutes away from him, he chooses not to see her. Yes, I said chooses. Because I believe that if he wanted to see her, he would. Of course he uses every excuse in the book. He works all the time, has too much to do, doesn’t have the gas. But you’d think he’d get 5 free minutes at least a week to come by or ask how she’s doing. But no. Even when she goes to his mother’s house, where he lives, he hardly spends time with her. He does pay child support every two weeks, which I am VERY appreciative for. But to me, a paycheck isn’t a father. He never comes over. He never even texts or calls me to ask how she is. He was never interested in her milestones or growth. He doesn’t know her favorite foods or shows. He doesn’t know how funny she is or how tough. He doesn’t know her at all. 

Rayne has my personality almost to a tee. She only opens up and lets loose around people she knows very well. Her family. But if she isn’t use to someone, she’s quiet, well behaved, shy, and a Mamma’s girl. Unfortunately, she has yet to warm up to her father. In fact, I don’t even think she knows he’s her father. I refer to him as her daddy. But she hasn’t a clue what daddy means. Or what it should mean, at least. 

If you think I’m exaggerating because of my dislike for him, I assure you that is not the case. My feelings toward him are completely irrelevant. Not even connected to his parenting in the least bit. The last time I actually had a conversation with him he said something that I think he probably wishes he hadn’t. He said on his days off, he literally sits in his room all day long, playing video games. I didn’t say anything because the conversation had been had so many times, it was a broken record. And he was deaf. But in my mind I was thinking, “You mean to tell me, on the one day you have free to see your daughter, you spend it playing video games?”

In a way it just confirmed my need to move on from the situation. To conclude it as “it is what it is”. But it still hurts my heart to see other children loved so much by their fathers, while mine goes without. She deserves the best father in the world. Someone to love her unconditionally. Someone to care for her. Someone to hold her when she is upset, to tell her it will be okay, to make her feel safe. A father that can play with her, be her friend, but chase boys off with a baseball bat. Of course I know I am capable of doing all these things on my own, and do the very best I can to fill every position. But growing up without my father has taught me that sometimes, a girl just needs a daddy. I’ve grown out of that need. But I wish I had one when I was young. Maybe I wouldn’t have gone through some of the terrible things I have gone through. If I had my daddy I sure as hell wouldn’t have been abused physically, mentally, and emotionally for at least 15 years of my life. 

I look at my daughter and wonder why her father wouldn’t want to be around her every minute of the day. I’m not saying he doesn’t love her, because I’m sure he does. He just doesn’t show it. He isn’t the same nasty person he was before, but he isn’t anywhere near the father I would’ve picked for her. Or even someone I would allow her to hang around. But he is her father and he should play the part. But things are the way they are, and I’ve come to terms with it. I don’t even really blame him anymore. I’m just done with it. But I know when she’s older, and knows what a father is, it’ll return like a knife to the back. I never want her to feel as if she wasn’t good enough for him. Because truthfully, he isn’t good enough for her. 

Maybe one day someone will come around who can fill that void. But I wont count on it. I know my job now is to fill the void myself as best I can. And that is what I intend to do for the rest of my life, if need be. Because I don’t want to feel sorry for myself, or her anymore. And I don’t ever want her to feel sorry for herself either. She has a lot of people who love her more than words can express. And a mother who would walk to the ends of the Earth just to put a smile on her face. With that, who needs a ‘father’?

 

Bye-bye pregnancy weight.

When I got pregnant I knew I’d gain weight. It’s just a known fact. But no one told me that you don’t even have to try. You don’t even have to change your eating habits to gain weight during pregnancy. I gained 7lbs in a month! I really gave into my cravings. Which was so wrong. I ended up gaining 55lbs.

It’s been almost 2 years since giving birth to my daughter. I’ve lost all but 6-7lbs. But I didn’t start actually trying to lose weight until last May. Over last summer I had lost about 20lbs. I was so proud of myself. Obviously, the losing weight has slowed down, but I’m almost finished!

Today I decided to try on a pair of jeans I wore before I was pregnant.

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They fit.

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They are a little tight still, but the point is, I can button them, and wear them around without feeling uncomfortable. I do have a little bit more to lose until they fit like they did. But this is a huge accomplishment for me! I’m totes magotes happy about this.

(Please excuse Rayne’s blurred atrocious mess.)